Crowdfunding: A Disruptive Innovation in Entrepreneurial Finance?
Is crowdfunding a disruptive innovation in entrepreneurial finance? This dissertation consist of three chapters that explore the emergence of crowdfunding as a viable financing alternative for entrepreneurial ventures. More specifically, I study the evolution, dynamics, and impact of the crowdfunding phenomenon. I find that crowdfunding has grown exponentially over the years and has proven to be an essential tool for supplying capital to entrepreneurs. It has played an important role in fostering innovation, facilitating business creation, supporting early-stage ventures, and stimulating job creation. Furthermore, crowdfunding has enabled the financial inclusion of different types of investors, who were previously restricted from investing in young early-stage businesses. This has opened up opportunities, but also poses risks. Especially in equity crowdfunding, where “crowd investors” become shareholders in typically early-stage companies, “tapping the right crowd” is essential for the survival and further development of entrepreneurial ventures. Taken together, the insights derived from this dissertation suggest that crowdfunding has indeed emerged as a game-changing force in entrepreneurial finance.